James Franklin says Penn State needs to find rushing attack
Running the football was the bread and butter of the Penn State offense earlier this season. Over the last few weeks, though, that aspect has gone stale.
Penn State has been held under 200 rushing yards each of the last three games, a mark it eclipsed in each of the first six contests. Too much pressure has been placed on Trace McSorley as Miles Sanders has been less effective.
It’s an aspect that much change for the final three games, according to head coach James Franklin.
“We’ve got to get our running game going,” Franklin said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Through the first six weeks of the season, the Nittany Lions were averaging 251.8 yards per game on the ground. Over the last three games, they’ve averaged a paltry 120 yards per game. During that stretch, Miles has accounted for a total of 148 yards on 39 carries.
Against Michigan, he had just 14 yards on seven carries.
Franklin also pointed to the change on the coaching staff for some of the offensive struggles this season. While Penn State has done some really good things on that side of the ball, particularly early in the year, the head coach understands the affect the transition has had on the team.
“When you lose as many coaches as we did, it has an impact,” Franklin said. “I think at times we’ve done some really good things, and other times we haven’t.”
Penn State’s most difficult stretch is now behind it. With Wisconsin, Rutgers and Maryland left on the schedule, there’s a good shot the Lions hit nine regular season wins with the potential to hit 10 wins in bowl season.
Over the next three weeks, though, Franklin wants his offense to establish an effective rushing attack and start to show improvement on that side of the football.